Technology is part of the evolution of humanity. It is inevitable to think about mankind without considering technological advances, we need to adapt to diverse situations through innovations. However, every progress in this context is undeniable uncertain – as such, technology can be both used for good or for worse. And this is the case of Virtual Reality (VR). It is one of those advancements that is trend now, and maybe a standard in the years to come – with its negative or positive effects in people.
It is amazing to believe that VR is now a reality. We first thought that this technology was going to be a dream, but now you can buy VR headsets for casual usages. Whether you have it or not, there are several perceptions of how VR can change our society forever. Science fiction movies try to explain us about the possible horrors of virtual reality.
In the Wachowski’s brothers The Matrix (1999) we realize that VR can be used in order to manipulate people. This is one of the nightmares that we have about the realism of VR experiences. The world of the Matrix is so perfect that thanks to VR that we do not even know the differences between dreams and reality. And this is a terrifying concept that everybody should be aware of, as it can be used for others in order to enslave us.
According to Steven Spielberg’s vision in the recent movie Ready Player One (2018), their characters use VR as an escape from the hardships of our real world. Because it is true, reality sometimes lacks of something and we look for new experiences in order to give meaning to us. And in this movie, by travelling to different fictional worlds we can see the capabilities of VR in a future. We cannot deny that this would be amazing.
Those movies demonstrate that if we let VR be so prominent in several areas, people could have socializing problems, even more than today. Millennials have lost a lot of skills and deep thinking capabilities because of their obsession with smartphones. What would happen if instead of phones, people could normalize VR in daily’s life? That is one of the many horrors that VR could deliver to the table, but to be honest, it is not fault of the technology as we think that this is more a problem of our society.
Science Fiction shows us how good or bad VR could be in the future. Those are interesting ideas, but at the same time they are just fears that people have about VR technologies. Nowadays, this technology has not reached to its peak – but it is very advanced. With the current advancements of VR, there are pros that are worthy to talk about.
VR is used for entertainment, and this is a benefit for gamers. But it is also used not only for videogame experiences, but also for treating PTSD by using it in avoidance therapies in soldiers that participated in wars. Clinically, VR is going to be a very important technology that is going to help people to face their traumas head on. But not all of it is so good, as VR could have terrible consequences in its users.
Sadly, people are not very aware about the consequences of VR in their sight. And this is a topic in which most users of VR headsets do not take preventions. The VR headsets can damage your eyes to an extent, and here we will explain you why.
This is because VR devices use blue lights. Blue is a color that is intended to be used more in illuminated areas, and cognitively it communicates to our brain that we are in the day. This causes overuse of our eyes and therefore, if not regulated, it can weaken our eyes. Furthermore, we have to remember that VR headsets use not only one, but two screens at the same time in front of our eyes. TVs and monitors are intended to be used by people depending on some distances, but having those pictures in front of your eyes could be harmful for your sight.
Beware that overuse of this VR can cause AMD (Macular Degeneration), a problem with your retina that is caused when part of it is damaged and can cause problems or even make you lose your central vision. AMD also impedes you from seeing fine details, no matter if you are seeing far or near. For instance, imagine you are looking at a clock with hands. With AMD you might see the clock’s numbers but not the hands. You cannot see fine details, whether you are looking at something close or far. However, your peripheral side vision would be still to be normal.
And yes, VR could be threatening but if it is so dangerous – why is it on sale? Why do people buy VR headsets?
It is because this technology is harmful only if you use it to excess. What we have to do is to regulate the use of this amazing technology, because it can be dangerous if we do not pay attention to its side effects when we use it a lot.
VR should not be used by children with 13 years old or less, as it is marked in most of the instruction books of VR headsets. If you feel headache or pain, just stop using the headsets. Take breaks if necessary as most specialists recommend taking 2 hours of breaks after a session of VR usage.
We strongly recommend you to enjoy VR but not abusing of it, this is an amazing technology! Remember that no matter the circumstances, everything in this world damages your vision (some VR headsets have anti-blue light filter, which protects your eyes) and everything in this world can manipulate you – not only VR worlds. Live your life in a healthy way, and buy your VR headsets considering its pros and horrors.